Ellen DeGeneres Show bosses knew of ‘toxic workplace’ allegations back in 2018… but Warner Bros. says investigation found ‘no merit’ to claims
Bosses at The Ellen DeGeneres Show knew about allegations of a toxic work environment and sexual harassment as far back as 2018, it’s claimed.
BuzzFeed News reported Tuesday that a complaint alleging ‘gender discrimination, including sexist remarks made by top producers’ was filed with an industry union two years ago.
A spokesman for Warner Bros. confirmed that a complaint was lodged and said that an independent investigation had determined it was without merit.
Controversy: Bosses at The Ellen DeGeneres Show knew about allegations of a toxic work environment and sexual harassment as far back as 2018, BuzzFeed News reported on Tuesday
‘It was investigated by an outside investigator and resolved with no merit to claims of gender discrimination,’ the studio spokesperson told BuzzFeed News.
‘As previously stated, we are committed to changing the things that need to change and moving forward in a constructive and positive way,’ the spokesperson added.
A week ago, three top producers of the Ellen DeGeneres Show were fired as a result of the allegations of misconduct and sexual harassment behind the scenes of the daytime chat show.
Executive producers Ed Glavin and Kevin Leman and co-executive producer Jonathan Norman were let go, while executive producers Mary Connelly, Andy Lassner, and Derek Westervelt are staying on.
DeGeneres has vowed to make changes after apologizing to her employees and saying she had always wanted her show to be a place of ‘happiness’.
Ongoing investigation: A week ago, three top producers were fired as a result of the allegations of misconduct and sexual harassment behind the scenes of the daytime chat show
Sorry: DeGeneres, 62, who launched her show in 2003, has vowed to make changes after apologizing to employees and saying she always wanted her show to be a place of ‘happiness’
The claims of a toxic workplace first made headlines in mid-July when BuzzFeed News published a report in which former and current employees claimed they had encountered racism, fear and intimidation during their time on the show.
The show then faced additional accusations about sexual misconduct in a second BuzzFeed News article on July 30, in which dozens of men and women accused Leman, Glavin and Norman of sexual harassment, misconduct or assault.
WarnerMedia launched an internal investigation conducted by a third party and on Monday, in an email to employees, David McGuire, executive vice president of programming at Warner Bros., said the current investigation ‘is nearing its conclusion.’
Meanwhile, some of the new changes promised by DeGeneres and the studio were announced last week.
Going forward, staff will be given five paid days of leave plus a paid day off on their birthday and paid time off for doctor’s visits and family matters.
DeGeneres, 62, launched her chat show in 2003, five years after her sitcom Ellen went off the air after five seasons.
In April 1997, the comedienne and actress made headlines when she came out as gay on an episode of the show. A year later, ABC pulled the plug on the sitcom.
In 2008, she married actress Portia de Rossi and in addition to her successful daytime chat show on NBC, she has hosted the Academy Awards, the Emmys and the Grammy Awards.
Star: Ellen, pictured in 2014 with wife Portia de Rossi, is believed to have a net worth of $330 million and in 2018 was the 15th highest-paid entertainer in the world, according to Forbes
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